Tracker to show sta­tus of graft cases and speed up hear­ings

CJ, judges tack­ling is­sues of miss­ing files, in­junc­tions, lit­i­ga­tion de­lays, fre­quent ad­journ­ments, bad bail, bond and sen­tenc­ing de­ci­sions, ‘shop­ping’ for friendly judges

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - JILLO KADIDA @jka­dida

Chief Jus­tice David Maraga yes­ter­day in­structed the Anti-Cor­rup­tion and Eco­nomic Crimes Divi­sion to cre­ate an elec­tronic track­ing sys­tem to mon­i­tor the sta­tus of cor­rup­tion cases.

On Oc­to­ber 18, Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta blamed the ju­di­ciary, the EACC, the Au­di­tor Gen­eral and other agen­cies for the slug­gish anti-cor­rup­tion fight. He said he had al­ready done every­thing he pos­si­bly could.

The new CJ said he will en­sure the ju­di­ciary is not blamed for fail­ures of other arms of gov­ern­ment. The elec­tronic tool, a mas­ter cases dataset, will en­able agents of the EACC and the Di- rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions to mon­i­tor case sta­tus by com­puter.

It will pre­vent the dis­ap­pear­ance of files, which has of­ten stalled cases. Speak­ing dur­ing a coun­cil meet­ing for the Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Jus­tice, Maraga urged judges to pri­ori­tise the war on cor­rup­tion and pledged to put it atop his agenda.

“I’ve made a pub­lic com­mit­ment that fight­ing cor­rup­tion will form a sig­nif­i­cant part of my trans­for­ma­tion agenda. I’m de­ter­mined to suc­ceed. So please don’t fail me,” he said. “The ju­di­ciary won’t carry any in­sti­tu­tion’s cross. We’ll work on our own in­ter­nal weak­nesses that are, in some in­stances, quite acute.”

Maraga said he and judges are tack- ling the thorny is­sue of in­junc­tions, of­ten sought by cor­rupt sus­pects to shield them­selves against pros­e­cu­tion.

“I’m hav­ing dis­cus­sions with judges on in­junc­tions, de­lays in lit­i­ga­tion, fre­quent ad­journ­ments, poorly con­sid­ered bail de­ci­sions, bond and sen­tenc­ing — is­sues that have ex­posed courts to abuse by the cor­rupt,” he said.

Maraga said he will gazette wide-rang­ing prac­tice di­rec­tions to elim­i­nate fo­rum shop­ping. This prac­tice is used by some of the ac­cused to have their cases heard by courts and ju­rists they con­sider mostly likely to de­liver favourable ver­dicts. A daily anti-graft court bul­letin will help the pub­lic know ex­actly who and which agency are re­spon­si­ble for which case.

/JACK OWUOR

Jus­tice Njoki Ndung’u, Jus­tice Jack­ton Ojwang, DCJ Philom­ena Mwilu, CJ David Maraga, Jus­tice Mo­hamed Ibrahim and Jus­tice Smokin Wan­jala dur­ing the in­au­gu­ral ses­sion for the re­con­sti­tuted Supreme Court in Nairobi on Mon­day

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